Friday, February 11, 2011

Homepage High: Computer Subs for AP Teacher

Part 2 of a three-part series on joining the digital learning revolution in America.

NEW YORK -- Norma Vega, principal of the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the Bronx, faces a conundrum familiar to many high school principals: Limited resources restrict the number of classes she can offer her students. And though she tries to give them every opportunity to prepare for college, with very few students ready for Advanced Placement classes, she hasn't hired an AP teacher.

"It's about what's most efficient and what's most effective," Vega said. "If I don't have 25 kids, how do I justify hiring an AP teacher that I don't have at least a full class for?"

And yet, 12 of her 241 students are taking either AP English or AP American history this year -- just not in the traditional sense. They're taking it online.

A nascent digital revolution is taking place in some American schools, where administrators and teachers are rethinking traditional classes and experimenting with online learning. A study conducted last year by the Sloan Consortium found that 75 percent of school districts surveyed nationwide offered online or blended learning courses during the 2007-2008 school year. And online learning isn't just spreading, it's spreading quickly. The number of K-12 students enrolled in online courses increased 47 percent in those two years.
Read more HERE

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